Bazna R7: Ivanchuk beats Shirov, leads by a point

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King's TournamentDon't write him off yet! In a marathon game of 84 moves, Vassily Ivanchuk defeated Alexei Shirov today and increased his lead to a full point in Bazna, as Boris Gelfand drew with Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. After six draws Teimour Radjabov won his first game, against Gata Kamsky, who is now on a terrible 1.5/7.

The 3rd Kings Tournament, a six-player round-robin with Radjabov, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Gelfand, Kamsky and Nisipeaniu, takes place June 14-25 in Bazna, Romania.

Round 7

So far it hasn't been going too well with Gata Kamsky. The American is in poor form and after seven rounds he's all the way down the standings with 1.5/7. It's not that he's playing that terrible, but it seems that he still has problems in the opening phase, so that it just takes too much time on the clock to reach a satisfactory position. In many games he does manage, only to follow-up with a big mistake, which is exactly how he lost to Radjabov.

Nisipeanu's opening was fine this time: in a Petroff he improved upon an old Kholmov game and got a small but lasting advantage in the ending. However, Gelfand is Gelfand, and the Israeli defended the position to a draw on on move 74.

The game of the round was of course Ivanchuk-Shirov. Repeating the 4.Bg5 line Radjabov had tried before against Shirov in Bazna, Ivanchuk came up with a strong novelty. White seemed to be getting very strong pressure when Black suddenly found a great way to change the type of position.

The ending with three pawns against a piece should have been a draw, but first Shirov missed a threefold repetition, and then after some inaccurate moves he allowed Ivanchuk to push his h-pawn, and then after seven hours of play Shirov committed a big mistake, where he could still hold it. A fantastic performance by Ivanchuk, whose persistence was rewarded in the end.

Games round 7

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[TABLE=746] [TABLE=754] Photo courtesty of the official website, used with permission

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